INCLEAN November-December 2019

Page 44


FOUR KEY STEPS to writing a sustainable procurement policy

D By Kendall Benton-Collins

eveloping a sustainable procurement policy is an important and worthy goal for any organisation or business. It’s not just about buying the eco-friendliest products out there – sustainable procurement means taking the social and economic impacts of purchased goods and services into account, along with their environmental footprint. Through sustainable procurement, your business can build resilience and become future-proofed through increased efficiency and effectiveness. A policy will benefit your bottom line and help you to manage supply chain risk, so it’s a win for your business as well as for the planet and the people on it. Getting started can feel daunting, especially when you don’t have experience with sustainable purchasing or an understanding of the complex issues surrounding it. Knowing what sort of criteria to include in your policy document, and how to find products and services which meet all those criteria, can also be challenging. So, GECA has put together this handy guide to help get you started!



When writing your policy, keep your organisation’s top sustainability priorities in 44 INCLEAN November / December 2019

mind, making sure these are clearly defined and aligned with your organisation’s core values. Sometimes it may not be feasible to try to meet every possible sustainable goal. Some businesses may place a higher value on lowering their environmental impact, while others may be drawn to labour practices or human rights issues. Ultimately, every policy should include a requirement for continual improvement towards meeting sustainability goals. As the cleaning and hospitality sectors have been identified as modern slavery hotspots in Australia, human rights issues are particularly relevant. With the introduction of the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018, certain large businesses and other entities will be required to publish annual Modern Slavery Statements. The Australian Government has recently released a guidance document for reporting entities, which is an excellent resource.



Once priorities have been set, it’s time to identify the potential environmental, health and social impacts of products and services, as well as the risks. This is where the International Organisation for Standardisation’s ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Standard can help.

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